The photo at left is of Russell Froelich, a photographer who worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and the St. Louis Star in the first half of the twentieth century. At first glance, I thought this image was an old-time version of a selfie. More likely it was not taken in front of a mirror but rather by another photographer. Read more »
James’s hopes of getting out of Libby Prison were briefly lifted by two events, an exchange of prisoners and an expedition to release Union soldiers held in Confederate prisons in Richmond, Virginia, including Libby. In early February 1864, Union brigadier general H. Judson Kilpatrick met with President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who approved Kilpatrick’s plan for a raid on Richmond. Kilpatrick and his detachment of approximately 3,000 troops reached the city on March 2 after destroying Confederate rail lines on the way.Read more »
The Gillette Family Garden on the Museum's east lawn has been a tremendous resource for K–12 students visiting the Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello exhibition. Our young Museum visitors have been engaged with the garden, which helped them discover history about the lives of the enslaved families who lived at Monticello. They also gained a sense of the political, social, cultural, and economic developments that shaped lives during the Antebellum period and how those currents worked to shape American life today. Read more »
Actor and screenwriter Harold Ramis has died from complications of a rare autoimmune disease. He co-wrote Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day, among other blockbusters.
But his first big screenplay was the result of living here in St. Louis. Chicago native Ramis attended Washington University, and his experiences in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity inspired his screenplay for Animal House. (He later served on the university’s board of trustees for eight years.) Read more »
When Otto Widmann was 33 years old, a chance encounter with a backyard visitor rekindled a passion for nature that had been pushed aside by the realities of tending to his business and making a living. The German-born drugstore owner and his wife, Augusta, observed a Baltimore (northern) oriole singing outside their St. Louis home in 1873. Widmann later wrote, “It came to a peach tree in my garden, when his strong whistle called my attention to him.... Read more »
I expect to hear from you again about Tuesday as a mail has arrived but is not yet distributed, but I must write today or lose a week — as we are only allowed to write one letter of six lines each Monday. I am well, thank God but it has been excessively cold during the week, and much suffering is the consequence among us. It is now moderating and I suppose Spring will soon be on hand. Nothing new here. Glad to hear such a good report from St. Louis. Read more »
After the past few months of winter weather in St. Louis, we are all looking forward to spring. Although we had high expectations for our fall garden on the east side of the Museum, the frequency of frost and subzero temperatures prevented much from happening in our plot. So now, onward to spring we go. Read more »
On February 10, President Obama and French president Francois Hollande visited Monticello, the historic estate of Francophile Thomas Jefferson. For both presidents, this was their first visit to Jefferson's estate. Monticello is rich in history and, in many ways, quite telling of a relationship between France and the United States. The enslaved cooks at Monticello also left their imprint on this narrative. It was of Edith Fossett’s cooking that Daniel Webster spoke when he described the meals at Monticello as "in half Virginian, half French style, in good taste and abundance." Read more »
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